Exposition is always tricky to dress up as entertaining but the Lucifer writers room always comes up with something innovative and watching Luci recount the saga of Cain and Abel in stickman cartoon form was a stroke of brilliance.
Of course, Cain/Pierce knows the story six ways from Sunday (quite literally, I guess) and he’s more interested in Lucifer’s plan to “rewrite history”.
And Luci is quite happy to share. He plans to retrieve Abel’s soul from Hell (!) and plant it in a newly dead mortal host, thus making Abel “not-dead” and Cain “not-a-murderer”.
With perfect timing, they end up at a hospital shortly afterwards, ostensibly to question the critically-injured victim of a letter bomb, Bree Garland (Lauren Lapkus, Orange Is The New Black), where they have a variety of nearly dead folk to choose from.
Having settled on a 97-year-old man in the last moments of his life, Lucifer does his deep dive and then pops back up to await Abel’s revival. Unknown to them, Bree had also expired and Abel’s soul landed there. She wanders off before Cain/Pierce and Luci notice. When they do, Lucifer tries to claim the win still, stating that Cain’s mark should’ve disappeared but it hasn’t and Cain calls the plan another failure.
Recognizing that bringing Decker into the mix isn’t an option, they team up to track down the AWOL Abel. Without a clue where he would head to first, Lucifer decides to pick Maze’s brain since she was his head torturer down below.
Meanwhile, back at the station, Decker and Espinoza are narrowing down the suspect list for the letter bomb that was sent to Hollywood producer, Alexa Lee (Jacqueline Obradors, Lopez). Their first stop is conspiracy theorist, Liam Wade (Blake Shields, Heroes) who sent a hand-written death threat to Lee and apparently scans hand-written manifestos onto his website as well.
In Dr. Martin’s office, Charlotte Richards is engaged in a battle of wills with her new therapist, intent on mapping her own path to mental health. When Linda insists she slow down and examine her “hell”, the source of her anxiety, she accuses her of trying to sabotage her recovery in order to make more money and storms out.
Maze is a wealth of information about Abel. After all, as she puts it,”You never forget your first,” and Abel was the FIRST resident of Hell. She and her demon brethren trained their torture skills on him. In a perverse exchange, they trained him in a variety of adaptability skills and multiple languages.
She also points out that Abel reminded her on many occasions of Lucifer, always looking for a good time. When Cain asks her where she think Abel would head upon awakening, she hands him a wad of money and answers his question with her own question:”Where would Cave Man Lucifer go?”
Next, we get our first look at re-animated Abel next, as s/he jay-walks in pursuit of a group of beautiful women. S/he approaches with promises of “blessing [them] with [his] seed” in order to “be fruitful and multiply”. As he appears to be a rather sedately-dressed woman, he is met with looks of confusion.
Decker is preoccupied with the whole Lucifer/Pierce team-up while she and Espinoza pick their way through the woods around Wade’s residence. Dan thinks she’s feeling left out and possessive. Suddenly, a sniper beam appears on Dan’s face and they raise their hands in order to get Wade to come out to talk with them.
Wade is shocked they think he’d try to kill Alexa. He hates that a movie she made recently (and which Espinoza enjoyed) turns one of his biggest theories into a joke but he credits her with a surge in his Twitter following. When they ask him who might want to kill Alexa, he gives them several theories including the Bolivian cartel and rogue carnies.
On a rooftop deck, surrounded by attractive women, Abel/Bree is bemoaning his loneliness when Amenadiel approaches and offers to take him back where he belongs. Abel thinks it’s a pick-up line, one of many he’s been fending off. He doesn’t understand why only men seem to find him attractive until Amenadiel shows him his reflection and he realizes he doesn’t need to be yearning after other women’s bosoms since he’s got his own set.
Amenadiel talks him through his usual Hell loop and then presents him with a gun, offering him an exit he’s never taken before in the millenia since he was killed.
Just as Lucifer and Cain/Pierce arrive, Abel/Bree starts to question Amenadiel’s interest and involvement. Suddenly, she grabs the gun and fires it, hitting a Bolivian cartel hitman (!) who was about to shoot her. The Bolivian bleeds out in the pool and s/he escapes in the confusion.
Yeah, it happened that fast.
Just as quickly, Lucifer and Amenadiel spin out the newest page in their conflict, Cain/Pierce realizes the dead guy in the pool in Bolivian cartel, and Decker is read in on the whole we-lost-your-witness-twice situation.
Going back to question Alexa, Decker and Lucifer discover that Bree really ran the show, including getting the Bolivian cartel involved with Alexa’s company.
Cain/Pierce hits up Maze in Lucifer’s penthouse for help tracking down Abel/Bree and turns her from her latest bounty hunt by letting her know she’d be screwing with Amenadiel. Discussing where they should start looking for his brother, Maze comments that Abel would sometimes come up with something unexpected. On cue, the elevator opens and Abel/Bree steps out and shoots Cain in the chest.
Of course, that doesn’t take and Cain wakes up a minute later, mark still in place, interrupting Abel/Bree’s victory dance. S/he begs him to make it quick but Maze and Cain explain that s/he’s not in Hell now, that s/he’s actually alive.
First stop in life is the police station apparently, where Abel/Bree tries to pick up both Decker and Charlotte at the same time while they want her to turn state’s evidence on the Bolivian cartel. Abel’s happy to comply but has no access to Bree’s memories.
Amenadiel tracks Abel down to Decker’s house but finds that it’s a trap laid by Maze so she can keep him busy (being beaten on) and out of Lucifer’s way.
Lucifer and Decker take Abel/Bree back to Alexa’s office to unlock the filing cabinet with all the evidence inside. Dan calls just as they arrive and explains that Alexa had not only picked up all of Bree’s possessions from the hospital, she had rescheduled her pilates appointment so she wouldn’t be in the office when the bomb was delivered.
Realizing that Alexa has been behind the attempts on Bree’s life the whole time just as Lucifer gets Abel/Bree to put her thumb on the filing cabinet lock, Decker holds Bree in place when the cabinet opens to reveal another bomb.
Refusing to leave Bree behind to wait for the bomb squad, Decker once again proves herself to have an angel on her shoulder as she quickly defuses the bomb with no training whatsoever. In the aftermath, the investigators find one of Alexa’s fingerprints on the bomb and, confronted with that, she flips on the cartel she had been laundering money for.
Decker is satisfied with the conclusion of the case but her near-miss with the bomb leaves Lucifer shaken and he tells Cain/Pierce that he can no longer help him try to die as it is putting Chloe in too much danger. Having reached some sort of truce with Abel, Cain claims to hold out hope as long as his sister-brother is alive just as an ambulance plows into Bree and kills her. Again.
The episode is a fast and loose example of exactly how much can be stuffed into an hour’s entertainment. It’s full of sudden 180s in the action and liberally populated with quick laughs. Abel/Bree is amusingly sleazy, very much the Cave Man Lucifer Maze describes. And that lone shoe that’s left is probably the ultimate PSA on jay-walking.
However, shining in the blur of plot and action are two powerful emotional reveals. First is Maze and Amenadiel’s confrontation in Decker’s house. She still claims the moral high ground in that he and Linda betrayed her with their secret relationship. When he refuses to fight back against her attacks, stating that they can’t possibly hurt more than watching her break Linda’s heart, he wins the encounter, sending her running from that truth.
The real gut-wrenching reveal is in Charlotte’s return to Linda’s office as a client. We finally find out what her Hell loop was, what she experienced for the year Lucifer’s mother possessed her body, what drove her to become the better person despite her natural instinctual pragmatic amorality.
For a year, over and over again, she woke up to the smell of coffee, sat down to a happy breakfast with her family, and then watched as one of the killers she had successfully defended as a lawyer came in and killed them one by one.
It’s an intense and genuine moment where she finally puts words to the torture her guilty conscience created for her in Hell and shares that pain with Linda. “I don’t know,” she says,”what it’ll take to stay out of that place. I’m trying my best but I don’t know if it’ll be enough.”
No where else on network television can one show evoke tears in a therapy session and then prompt laughter at a vehicular casualty.
LuciferÂ airs Monday nights at 8pm ET/PT on FOX.
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